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Aftermarket Radio

Old 10-28-2015, 06:11 PM
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Default Aftermarket Radio

Hey guys, I'm new here and still trying to figure out the forum. I got a 97 zj orvis. The factory radio dont work real good and I want to put in an aftermarket radio. A couple issues are that the vic relies on the radio to set the clock on it. I have steering wheel controls and memory functions provide a separate set of presets on the radio for each memory button. Is there a way to keep all that functionality if I replace the radio?
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Rahn View Post
Hey guys, I'm new here and still trying to figure out the forum. I got a 97 zj orvis. The factory radio dont work real good and I want to put in an aftermarket radio. A couple issues are that the vic relies on the radio to set the clock on it. I have steering wheel controls and memory functions provide a separate set of presets on the radio for each memory button. Is there a way to keep all that functionality if I replace the radio?
I don't think the VIC has any effect on the radio's clock... I had a '94 Laredo with the VIC and it kept its time even with an aftermarket Sony radio installed.

In regards to your steering wheel controls, you can purchase an interface that is programmed to your Jeep (you do it via included software on your computer) and then wire it to the wiring harness provided with your aftermarket radio, and it allows you to keep using those controls. Finally, for the memory features, the physical Jeep memory system (seats and mirrors) will continue to work with an aftermarket radio installed, however, I don't think you'll be able to retain the Jeep memory system's presets, since that's a part of the factory radio, and there's no way to use it with an aftermarket radio installed. Thankfully, you won't lose anything else but that feature.

There's also a wire (I think it's yellow?) that acts as a "turn-on" signal for the factory Infinity Gold amplified mounted under the rear bench seat that'll need to be connected when you wire up the wiring harness. The wiring guide included with the harness will tell you to do this, but I thought I'd let you know of the importance of this.

My Jeep had the basic four-speaker system with a tape deck and a VIC, and that's it, no steering wheel controls (they weren't available until 1996, I don't believe), and no Infinity Gold system, but I do know this information based on the fact that those instructions were all included with my wiring harness when I wired it up.

Hope this helps,

Vince (:

Last edited by 94zj318; 10-28-2015 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:27 PM
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Im familar with installing aftermarket radios and the amp wire. The clock on the vic is set from the radio clock. I've never had such a fancy vehicle before and its interesting all the things tied into the factory radio. Im guessing if I want to keep the steering wheel controls I need a radio that the interface will work with? What is this programmable interface you speak of? I might get the interface first then find a compatable radio.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:45 AM
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Google steering wheel control adapter theres a few,They all are universal to a point just make sure it works with a jeep.On the radio end it don't matter which one you get they all work for those.
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:32 AM
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On my 97 ZJ, you had to set the day and date on the VIC, but the time was set by the radio clock. The day/date function isn't available on my WJ and I miss it.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
On my 97 ZJ, you had to set the day and date on the VIC, but the time was set by the radio clock. The day/date function isn't available on my WJ and I miss it.
Yes. And thats why im wondering if I change the radio how the clock on the vic would be set.
I have googled the adapter and found a few and also found lots of people that have problems getting them to work right with the zj. I was wondering if there was a specific one you guys use.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Rahn View Post
Im familar with installing aftermarket radios and the amp wire. The clock on the vic is set from the radio clock. I've never had such a fancy vehicle before and its interesting all the things tied into the factory radio. Im guessing if I want to keep the steering wheel controls I need a radio that the interface will work with? What is this programmable interface you speak of? I might get the interface first then find a compatable radio.
My suggestion is that you order from Crutchfield. They'll guide you through what exactly you'll need to install your new radio... the interface is a box that I think is connected behind the radio and wires into the aftermarket wiring harnesses that you'll get when you buy a new radio. You'll need an aftermarket radio in order for the interface to work, so it's best to get everything at the same time.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
On my 97 ZJ, you had to set the day and date on the VIC, but the time was set by the radio clock. The day/date function isn't available on my WJ and I miss it.
Hmmm... it was never that way on my 1994 ZJ... I had the basic A/M-F/M-tape radio (the most basic radio you could get in 1994 for the ZJ), and I upgraded to a Sony A/M-F/M-CD-MP3 radio with aux jack. The time and date were both set separately from the radio clock, on both the factory and aftermarket radios.
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